Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate is an attached office of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, provides quality assurance services in the area of Electronics and IT through countrywide network of laboratories and centres. The services include Testing, Calibration, IT & e-Governance, Training and Certification to public and private organizations.
STQC laboratories are having national/International accreditation and recognitions in the area of testing and calibration.
Besides testing and calibration STQC has specialized institutions such as Indian Institute of Quality Management (IIQM) for quality related training programs. Centre for Reliability (CFR) for reliability related services and Centre for Electronics Test Engineering (CETEs) for skill based trainings.
In the area of IT & e-Governance, STQC provides assurance services through its IT Centres for Software Quality testing, Information Security and IT Service Management by conducting testing, training, audit and certifications. STQC is responsible for maintaining eGov standards. Based on this concept a Conformity Assessment Framework (CAF) for e-Governance project has also been developed and is in operation. Two IT test laboratories, at Bangalore and Kolkata, have received accreditation from American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) being the first outside the USA.
Vision & Mission Vision Be a Quality Assurance service organization to enhance processes and competitiveness of IT and electronics industry enabling them to deliver products and services of global standards.
Mission To support industry and trade and protect consumer interest in electronic and IT sector by providing customer centric, accredited quality assurance services as per international standard for global acceptance.
Objectives Become a key player in national measurement assurance system by providing test & calibration facilities in emerging technologies Support national eGovernance Plan (NeGP) through Quality & Security evaluations of IT systems and other projects of national importance Providing certification services to industry for processes and products for global compliance Enhancement of knowledge of professionals in the area of quality management and test engineering Provide services in professional manner by enhancing internal efficiency
“Make all Government Services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realise the basic needs of the common man”.
As part of NeGP approval, the Union Cabinet assigned some key tasks associated with Programme Management of NeGP to Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) including arrangements for monitoring and coordinating implementation of NeGP, evolving standards and policy guidelines, providing technical and handholding support, undertaking Capacity Building, R&D, etc.
The Capacity Building Scheme under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) also envisions establishment of an institutional framework for state-level decision-making including setting-up of State e-Mission Teams (SeMTs) having relevant expertise and experience to provide technical and professional support to States and Union Territories.
Since implementation of NeGP entailed enhanced responsibilities for MeitY, it was proposed that a suitable institutional mechanism be devised to enable Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology to engage competent resources from the open market as well as within the Government.
NeGD was accordingly created by MeitY in 2009 as an Independent Business Division (IBD) within Media Lab Asia (MLAsia) (a Section 8 Company under Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology).
Immediate tasks for NeGD include the following: Programme Management of NeGP, inter-alia including facilitating and supporting DIT in undertaking the following tasks and responsibilities assigned to MeitY under NeGP.
Facilitating implementation of NeGP by various Ministries and State Governments. Providing technical assistance to Central Ministries and State Line Departments. Serving as a secretariat to the Apex Committee.
Undertaking technical appraisal of all NeGP projects to examine issues such as overall technology architecture, framework, standards, security policy, service delivery mechanism, sharing of common infrastructure etc. Human Resource Development, Training and Awareness Building.
Framing core policies, technical assistance, R&D, awareness and assessment and creation of organization structure.> Acting as a Central Agency for an effective implementation of Capacity Building Scheme inter-alia involving provisioning of manpower at various SeMTs across States/ UTs.
Positioning of a Capacity Building Management Cell for effective management of manpower at SeMTs together with management of other Scheme activities including training, setting up HR policies, etc. Present Status: NeGD is an Independent Business Division (IBD) established by MeitY within MLAsia to undertake Programme Management of NeGP, having the following features: This Division enjoys complete financial and HR autonomy from the rest of MLAsia. Government personnel in NeGD are taken on deputation to MLAsia. NeGD has its own head as President and CEO.
The selection process for both Government and private sector personnel is common for ensuring uniform quality and suitability of personnel. Government funds for managing specific e-Governance projects/programmes as identified by MeitY are transferred directly to the Division, subject to extant rules in this regard.
NeGD acts as one of the key catalysts and integrators for initiatives under Mission Mode Projects and support components under NeGP 2.0 across the country. NeGD is also expected to proactively support central ministries / departments / state governments in propagation of their e-Governance initiatives.
ERNET was initiated in 1986 by the Department of Electronics (DoE), with funding support from the Government of India and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), involving eight premier institutions as participating agencies NCST (National Centre for Software Technology) Bombay, IISc (Indian Institute of Science) Bangalore, five IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) at Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Madras, and the DoE, New Delhi. ERNET began as a multi protocol network with both the TCP/IP and the OSI-IP protocol stacks running over the backbone. Since 1995,however, almost all traffic is carried over TCP/IP.
ERNET (Education and Research Network) has made a significant contribution to the emergence of networking in the country. It practically brought the Internet to India and has built up national capabilities in the area of net-working, especially in protocol software engineering. It has not only succeeded in building a large network that provides various facilities to the intellectual segment of Indian society-the research and education community, it has over the years become a trendsetter in the field of networking. UNDP has lauded ERNET as one of the most successful programmes it has funded. The Govt. of India has committed itself to further strengthen the project by including it in the 9th Plan with the allocation of funds and by creation of a new organisational set-up in the form of a Society. The Science community of the country has also recognized ERNET's contribution both for infrastructure services as well as for R&D. In 1998, it became an autonomous scientific society - ERNET India under the administrative control of Ministry of Information Technology, Govt. of India.
SAMEER was set up as an autonomous R & D laboratory at Mumbai under the then Department of Electronics, Government of India with a broad mandate to undertake R & D work in the areas of Microwave Engineering and Electromagnetic Engineering Technology. It is an offshoot of the special microwave products unit (SMPU) set up in 1977 at the TATA INSTITUTE OF FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH (TIFR), Mumbai. SAMEER, Mumbai was setup in 1984.
The centre of Electromagnetics, Chennai of the then Department of Electronics (DOE) was merged with SAMEER in 1987. SAMEER Kolkata centre was set up in 1994 for research & Development in Millimetrewave Technology. A new centre is being established at Navi Mumbai campus of SAMEER for augmentation of EMI/EMC FACILITY for CE Marking of Electronics products.
The Vision To achieve excellence in application oriented research in the areas of Microwave /RF Electronics and Electromagnetics. The Mission Research & Development activities in the areas of its expertise. Engage in product development driven by technology and user requirement. Develop expertise in areas of competence. Create business division and to make it commercially viable in the long run Become multi disciplinary institution and to carter to diversified applications for Rf and microwave areas Undertake training ad consultancy in areas of competence. Keep pace with rapidly changing technology by continuous training of its manpower Become a non hierarchical organization empowering people at all levels with appropriate authority and accountability
Quality SAMEER is committed to meeting user agencies requirement by providing world-class technology and services. Continuous improvement and teamwork will guide our pursuit for excellence.
R & D Centers Mumbai SAMEER, Mumbai is pursuing research and development in the field of Opto electronics, medical Electronics, Radar based instrumentation, Atmospheric Remote sensing & Meteorology, RF & Microwave systems and components, Navigational electronics etc. Many of it's R&D outputs and spin-offs have found applications and acceptance in industry .
Chennai SAMEER-CEM, Chennai is pursuing Research and Development, Consultancy, test and evaluation services in the areas of electromagnetics and antennas, EMI/EMC, communications and thermal management. Kolkata SAMEER, Kolkata , the youngest of the three Centres is pursuing R&D activities in the area of antennas, electromagnetics, RF/Microwave components and subsystems.
Milestones SAMEER has been a pioneer in the development of technology in several areas. It has developed: India's first MST Radar which is also the 2nd largest in the world. India's first indigenously developed Linear Accelerator for Cancer treatment. Energy efficient Drying/Heating System for textile, Food, Ceramic, Chemical, Pharma, Rubber applications through RF/Microwave. Microwave dis-infection system for hazardous hospital waste. Code division multiple access [CDMA] receiver.
Microwave data link system [MDLS] for user agency. Broad-band sleeve monopole antenna . Wireless frequency hopping UHF data link. It has established: India's first center for design and engineering facility for Opto Electronic devices.
Class ten thousand clean room facility for space electronics hardware development. Full-fledged EMI/EMC test & evaluation facility for CE marking. RF/Microwave Antenna Measurement test facility. Thermal design and engineering facility.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) also set aside a rule in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) predatory pricing regulation that required top telcos to report all tariffs in the interests of transparency and non-discrimination.
About TDSAT: In order to bring in functional clarity and strengthen the regulatory framework and the disputes settlement mechanism in the telecommunication sector, the TRAI Act of 1997 was amended in the year 2000 and TDSAT was set up to adjudicate disputes and dispose of appeals with a view to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector.
In January 2004, the Government included broadcasting and cable services also within the purview of TRAI Act. The jurisdiction of TDSAT stands extended to matters that lay before the Cyber Appellate Tribunal and also the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal.
Composition of TDSAT: The Tribunal consists of a Chairperson and two Members appointed by the Central Government.
The Chairperson should be or should have been a Judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court. A Member should have held the post of Secretary to the Government of India or any equivalent post in the Central Government or the State Government for a period of not less than two years or a person who is well versed in the field of technology, telecommunication, industry, commerce or administration.
Powers and Jurisdiction: The Tribunal exercises jurisdiction over Telecom, Broadcasting, IT and Airport tariff matters under the TRAI Act, 1997 (as amended), the Information Technology Act, 2008 and the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008.
The Tribunal exercises original as well as appellate jurisdiction in regard to Telecom, Broadcasting and Airport tariff matters. In regard to Cyber matters the Tribunal exercises only the appellate jurisdiction.
Why Centre is introducing this Bill? Though the subject does not fall under the purview of Parliament, the Centre has decided to introduce this bill mainly because dam safety is an issue of concern in the country. And there are no legal and institutional safeguards in this regard.
Highlights of Dam Safety Bill, 2018: The Bill provides for proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning.
The Bill provides for constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety which shall evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations as may be required for the purpose. The Bill provides for establishment of National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body which shall discharge functions to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country. The Bill provides for constitution of a State Committee on Dam Safety by State Government.
Significance: The Dam Safety Bill, 2018 will help all the States and Union Territories of India to adopt uniform dam safety procedures which shall ensure safety of dams and safeguard benefits from such dams. This shall also help in safeguarding human life, livestock and property.
It addresses all issues concerning dam safety including regular inspection of dams, Emergency Action Plan, comprehensive dam safety review, adequate repair and maintenance funds for dam safety, Instrumentation and Safety Manuals. It lays onus of dam safety on the dam owner and provides for penal provisions for commission and omission of certain acts.
Need: Over the last fifty years, India has invested substantially in dams and related infrastructures, and ranks third after USA and China in the number of large dams. 5254 large dams are in operation in the country currently and another 447 are under construction. In addition to this, there are thousands of medium and small dams.
While dams have played a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural growth and development in India, there has been a long felt need for a uniform law and administrative structure for ensuring dam safety.
The Central Water Commission, through the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS), Central Dam Safety Organization (CDSO) and State Dam Safety Organizations (SDSO) has been making constant endeavours in this direction, but these organizations do not have any statutory powers and are only advisory in nature.
This can be a matter of concern, especially since about 75 percent of the large dams in India are more than 25 years old and about 164 dams are more than 100 years old. A badly maintained, unsafe dam can be a hazard to human life, flora and fauna, public and private assets and the environment. India has had 36 dam failures in the past.
The previous chapters were held in Johannesburg, South Africa (2014), New Delhi, India (2010) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2007). This is the second time India is hosting the Partners’ Forum.
What is Partners’ Forum? Partners’ Forum is a global health partnership launched in September 2005 to accelerate efforts to reduce child and maternal mortality, improve adolescent, child, newborn and maternal health.
An alliance: This partnership is an alliance of more than 1,000 plus members, across 10 constituencies in 92 countries: academic, research and teaching institutions; donors and foundations; health care professionals; multilateral agencies; non-governmental organizations; partner countries; global financing mechanisms and the private sector.
PMNCH’s mission is to support the global health community to work successfully towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the health related SDGs. The programme of the Partners’ Forum will be framed around the objectives of the Global Strategy of Survive – Thrive – Transform.
The Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) is under implementation across the country (launched in 2016). It is a unique programme, designed to deliver catalytic interventions to rural areas on the threshold of growth.
Funding Support: There is a funding support of up to 30% of the estimated investment for each Rurban cluster, given as Critical Gap Funding (CGF), while 70% of the funds is mobilized by the States through convergence with synergic State and Central programmes and private investment and institutional funding.
The CGF is now shared between the Centre and the State in a ratio of 60:40 for Plain area States and 90:10 for Himalayan and NE States.
Various Provisions: Provision of basic amenities – Provision of 24/7 Water Supply to all households, Solid and Liquid Waste Management facilities at the household and cluster level Provision of Inter and Intra village roads –
Adequate Street Lights and Public Transport facilities using green technologies Provision of Economic Amenities – Various thematic areas in the sectors of Agri Services and Processing, Tourism, and Skill development to promote Small and Medium Scale Enterprises
Background: As per Census of India Statistics, the rural population in India stands at 833 million, constituting almost 68% of the total population. The rural population has shown a growth of 12% during the 2001-2011 period and there has been an increase in the absolute number of villages during the same period.
Large parts of rural areas are not stand-alone settlements but part of a cluster of settlements, which are relatively proximate to each other. These clusters typically illustrate potential for growth, have economic drivers and derive location and competitive advantages. Hence, making a case for concerted policy directives for such clusters; these clusters once developed can then be classified as ‘Rurban’.
Mission’s Objective: The objective of the National Rurban Mission (NRuM) is to stimulate local economic development, enhance basic services, and create well planned Rurban clusters.
The National Mission on GeM (NMG) was launched on 5th September 2018 to accelerate the adoption and use of Procurement by Major Central Ministries, States and UTs and their agencies (including CPSUs/PSUs, Local Bodies) on the GeM platform.
Objectives of the NMG: Promote inclusiveness by catapulting various categories of sellers and service providers Highlight and communicate ‘value add’ by way of transparency and efficiency in public procurement, including corruption free governance.
Achieve cashless, contactless and paperless transaction, in line with the Digital India objectives. Increase overall efficiency leading to significant cost saving on government expenditure in Procurement. Maximizing ease in availability of all types of products and services bought by Government buyers.
Background: GeM is a short form of one stop Government e-Market Place hosted by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) where common user goods and services can be procured. GeM has recorded about $1.5 billion worth of transactions since it was launch 18 months ago.
The guidelines were revised in the wake of the directions issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to address various shortcomings in the existing guidelines of ground water extraction.
The revised guidelines provide for the: Encouraged use of recycled and treated sewage water by industries. Provision of action against polluting industries. Mandatory requirement of digital flow meters, piezometers and digital water level recorders, with or without telemetry depending upon quantum of extraction.
Mandatory water audit by industries abstracting ground water 500 m3/day or more in safe and semi-critical area and 200 m3/day or more in critical and over-exploited assessment units. Mandatory roof top rain water harvesting except for specified industries. Measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of ground water contamination in premises of polluting industries/ projects.
Exemptions under the revised guidelines: The revised guidelines exempt the requirement of NOC for agricultural users, users employing non-energised means to extract water, individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe) and Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment. Other exemptions have been granted to strategic and operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defence and Paramilitary Forces Establishments and Government water supply agencies.
Water Conservation Fee: One of the important features of the revised guidelines is the introduction of the concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF), the fee charged on extraction of ground water. The WCF payable varies with the category of the area, type of industry and the quantum of ground water extraction.
Implications of Water Conservation Fee: The high rates of WCF are expected to discourage setting up of new industries in over-exploited and critical areas as well as may limit large scale ground water extraction by industries, especially in over-exploited and critical areas.
Background: In India, extracted groundwater is mainly used for irrigation and accounts for about 228 BCM (billion cubic metre) — or about 90% of the annual groundwater extraction. The rest, 25 BCM, is drawn for drinking, domestic and industrial uses.
India is the largest user of groundwater in the world, and accounts for about 25% of the global water extraction.
The observations are part of a major ALMA initiative known as the Disk Substructures at High Angular Resolution Project, or DSHARP campaign.
Significance of these observations: According to the researchers, the most compelling interpretation of these observations is that large planets, likely similar in size and composition to Neptune or Saturn, form quickly, much faster than current theory would allow. It may also help explain how smaller rocky planets manage to survive in the chaos of young systems.
About ALMA telescope: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an international partnership of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan, together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.
ALMA is a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile. ALMA allows scientists to unravel longstanding and important astronomical mysteries, in search of our Cosmic Origins.
The satellite is measuring the height of sea ice to within an inch, tracing the terrain of previously unmapped Antarctic valleys, surveying remote ice sheets, and peering through forest canopies and shallow coastal waters.
With each pass of the ICESat-2 satellite, the mission is adding to datasets tracking Earth’s rapidly changing ice. Researchers are ready to use the information to study sea level rise resulting from melting ice sheets and glaciers, and to improve sea ice and climate forecasts.
Background: As the name suggests, ICESat-2 is a follow-on project. The original spacecraft flew in the 2000s and pioneered the laser measurement of the height of polar glaciers and sea-ice from space. But the mission was plagued by technical problems that limited its observations to just a couple of months in every year.
About ICESat- 2 mission: ICESat-2 will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.
ICESat-2’s Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measures height by timing how long it takes individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.
Why is this mission important? Antarctica and Greenland lose billions of tonnes of ice every year – the result largely of warm water being able to melt land glaciers where they meet the ocean. This wastage is slowly but surely pushing up sea-levels worldwide.